The Year in Food

The 2014 tastes we just couldn't stop thinking about

Carrots roasted in hay at Odd Duck
Carrots roasted in hay at Odd Duck (Photo by John Anderson)

Top 10 Oddities, Frivolities, and Absurdities in Austin food

1) DESIGNER ICE CUBES Not content with artisanal liquors, Half Step, Drink.Well, No Va, and others are getting ice into the act, serving it up in big blocks and customized shapes.

2) HOUSE-MADE SPARKLING WATER I was offered this at laV earlier this year. (Code for we have a SodaStream machine and are not afraid to use it?)

3) FOOD TRAILER CHEF'S TABLE Why pay to be pampered in some snooty restaurant when, for $85 a seat, the Red Star Southern trailer will wine and dine you on a picnic bench in the Grackle's courtyard?

4) THE BIG TICKET The $85 steak (Jeffrey's), the $10 basket of biscuits (Olamaie) or the $22 bowl of pho (Elizabeth Street Cafe). Really?

5) CANDIED BACON As if just plain bacon weren't enough, now it's candied at Porter Ale House.

6) IMPOSSIBLY SLOW EGGS Restaurants, start your SousVide Supremes. So far the winning team at Salty Sow clocks their soft-boiled egg in at 110 minutes. Can anyone beat it?

7) FORBIDDEN RICE Also known as black rice, but it's sexier when it's forbidden. Look for it at Swift's Attic and Little Barrel & Brown. 

8) CHICKEN SKIN SANS CHICKEN Sure, we all know the crispy skin is the best part of the bird, but it is now served minus the meat at qui, Foreign & Domestic, and Olivia.

9) CARROTS ROASTED IN HAY Do we love them because Odd Duck roasts them in hay, or in spite of it?

10) EDIBLE MENUS When dinner just doesn't do it, eat your menu for dessert. Delysia Chocolatier makes these upon special order.

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Top 10, Half Step, Drink.Well, No Va, LaV, Red Star Southern, Olamaie, Elizabeth Street Cafe, Jeffrey's, Porter Ale House, Salty Sow, Swift's Attic, Little Barrel & Brown, Qui, Odd Duck, Delysia Chocolatier

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